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Digital Subscriptions > Family Tree > Family Tree July 2018 > In Bill’s own words

In Bill’s own words

Diane Lindsay’s research rummaging has revealed untold riches this time – the first-hand reminiscences of a Victorian soldier and servant


A tragic chapter in the family history

I have so many Williams on my family tree, that if they were fruit I could make a fine pear crumble. Last month I mentioned one particular William Veasey, born 1822 in Leicestershire, a Crimean veteran who was butler at Hunstanton Hall. Since then, helped by the lovely folk at Norfolk Record Office (NRO), and some vastly fruitful online research of my own, a detailed and astonishing life story has been revealed, partly recorded by Roland le Strange, heir to the Hall, and much of it in Bill’s own words in The Reminiscences of William Veasey.

Bill enlisted in the 28th Foot in 1841 at Coventry Barracks for 8 shillings, coaxed by a wily sergeant who gave him a meal ‘or something’. His kit, deducted from pay cost £3.8s 3½d and included a knapsack, scarlet jacket, three shirts, a pair of boots, three pairs of socks, mitts, two pairs of Duck (white canvas) trousers, two forage caps and a neck stock, plus a number of brushes, shaving equipment, towels and basic camp equipment. I’m not sure yet what the brass ball, priced 4d, was for!

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About Family Tree

Join us as we celebrate the mothers, grandmothers, aunts and more on your family tree. It's vital to research the female ancestors, otherwise you're only learning half of your family history. This issue we have plenty to help and inspire your research into women's history and so gain a fuller understanding of your family members and their lives in times gone by.